Quiet on Set!

Why film sets are making the shift away from loud, polluting generators.

Pvilion Blog |  April 10, 2024 | By Julia Fowler

From cameras to craft services and sets to studio lights, it’s no question that the entertainment industry is a massive source of global pollution. As more production companies become increasingly aware of the harmful environmental effects of their productions, many companies are beginning to take measures to reduce their impact. Thanks to several mainstream publications shining light on the harm caused, more effective action is beginning to take place th an ever before. To name a few, Disney, Netflix, and RMI have recently made public commitments to specific sustainable goals, including replacing diesel generators with clean mobile power solutions. In fact, the need is so great that there are now agencies dedicated to improving sustainability efforts on film sets. Companies like EcoSet and Earth Angel are hired by production companies to introduce strategies and solutions to reduce their carbon footprint.

While waste reduction and recycling are beneficial, the greatest offender on sets are the emissions released from fuel used for power. The generators used to power sets are releasing millions of metric tons of C02 every year. As a result, experts are suggesting eliminating the need for generators as much as possible.

Last month, TIME shared an article,  Film and TV’s Carbon Footprint Is Too Big to Ignore, that takes a closer look at the impact of the entertainment industry’s carbon footprint. “Every year, the global entertainment industry generates millions of metric tons of CO2. Depending on the size of the production, movies can emit on average between 391 metric tons for a small film and up to 3,370 metric tons of CO2 equivalents for large, tentpole productions such as Oppenheimer or Barbie—that’s the equivalent of powering 656 homes for a year,” according to the article.

Not only are these emissions incredibly harmful to the environment, they are harmful for the crew working around them. A  2019 study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease found that air pollution was the third highest ranking risk factor of diseases that resulted in death globally. Other studies – like those by Energy Report – have found that the average diesel generator emits fumes that contain over 40 toxic air pollutants, most of which are carcinogenic. Dangerous fumes are only part of the risk associated with working around generators; they are also a major source of noise pollution. Most generators emit anywhere from 85 to 105 decibels and are a common cause of hearing loss for those that spend time around them.

This is why experts recommend shifting to more sustainable options, like batteries. Batteries can be used in conjunction with solar systems. Solar powered batteries are an optimal source of clean energy, flexibility, and can provide power independent from the grid. Not only this, but thanks to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, solar powered battery systems qualify for a 30% tax credit.

How Can Pvilion Help?

From lighting, to makeup trailers, catering, and everything in between, the demand for reliable off-grid power on a production set is high. Pvilion works with production companies to provide battery kit solutions that exceed the expectations of a traditional generator. Pvilion battery kits are: 

  1. Completely silent. None of the loud and excessive noises associated with diesel generators.
  2. Eco-friendly. The systems release zero-emissions.
  3. User Friendly. Batteries are designed to be easily used by anyone, without the need of an expert.
  4. Modular. They can be scaled up or down to meet power needs.
  5. Easy to stack and move. They are integrated with durable Pelican cases.
  6. Solar-ready. They can be used as-is or can connect to a solar source. Solar allows for sustainably sourced power without needing to re-fuel or connect to the grid. (Perfect when paired with a Pvilion Solar-Powered Fabric Shelter, which could qualify them for a 30% incentive tax credit.

Interested in using a Pvilion battery on your next production? Pvilion offers battery rental kits for purchase with or without a complete solar fabric system. For businesses located in New York City, Pvilion offers a battery rental program – with the option for daily on-site delivery. Rentals can be scaled to meet power need and can be rented on a short-term or long-term basis. Want to learn more? Get in touch with our battery rental team for